Skip to main content

Construction Professional Negligence Update

Paper number

Emily Monastiriotis and Alexandra Bodnar

May 2013

A paper presented to the Society of Construction Law at a meeting in Birmingham on 26th February 2013

The paper covers a number of recent developments in the law relating to construction professionals and claims against them. First, it concentrates on the duties of construction professionals in three specific areas: the delegation of responsibility to others and where liability lies when relying on specialist advisers; a general duty to warn; and the specific duty to check the design of other construction professionals. It goes on to consider whether it is possible to claim diminution in value where delay has been caused to a development by breaches by a professional team, and net contribution clauses and there uses. It looks at developments in the law of privilege and the use of expert evidence in claims. Finally, it considers the specific requirements for expert evidence when commencing a claim against a professional.

Introduction - Relying on specialist advisers / delegation of duties - Duty to warn generally - Duty to check design of others (Case study: Cleightonhills v Bembridge) - Diminution in value - Net contribution clauses (Examples of net contribution clauses - Case law on net contribution clauses) - Privilege and expert evidence (Legal advice privilege - Supreme Court's decision and qualified lawyers - Walter Lilly - Summary - Litigation privilege - Documents produced by experts - Changing experts - Advice provided by experts - Summary - 'Dominant purpose') - Commencing a claim against a construction professional - Conclusion.

The authors: Emily Monastiriotis is a partner of Bond Pearce LLP, solicitors, in London and Alexandra Bodnar is a barrister practising at Thirty Nine Essex Street, London.

Text 33 pages.